CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

CTC – Corporate Travel Community brings you a round up of some of the latest accommodation and hospitality news from across the globe. Here’s our offering for this week.

  • IHG opens new Holiday Inn near Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport
  • Hyatt to rebrand Grand Hyatt New York under Hyatt name as operations resume
  • Ascott to open 17 lyf properties by 2025 as demand for co-living apartments rises
  • New voco hotels debut in New Orleans and Olympia, Washington
  • London’s economy and midscale properties get early 2022 events boost but luxury hotels struggle to secure new business
  • W Nashville brings a new accommodation stage to Music City
  • Taoxichuan Hotel arrives in Hyatt’s Unbound Collection paying homage to Jingdezhen’s heritage of ceramic craftsmanship
  • Wyndham’s new upper midscale all-inclusive resort brand born from promise of ‘all-inclusive travel for all’
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

IHG opens new Holiday Inn near Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

IHG Hotels & Resorts has opened the Holiday Inn Paris – CDG Airport in partnership with the HPVA HOTELS group. The property is a 10-minute free shuttle ride from Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport and only a 30-minute train ride to central Paris, and features 250 guest rooms designed around the concept of ‘central living’. This provides a more central space for relaxing and casual working, with some rooms fitted out with a sofa bed providing guests with a flexible space for watching TV, lounging, or working, whilst also providing families the flexibility to have another sleeping space for children. The hotel’s public shared spaces offer the brand’s ‘Open Lobby’ concept, designed to combine the hotel’s reception area, restaurant, bar, and lounge into one open and cohesive space to provide guests with a place to relax, eat and work. For those travelling for business, the property also has a dedicated business centre, with 705 square meters of meeting space.

Hyatt to rebrand Grand Hyatt New York under Hyatt name as operations resume

Hyatt Hotels Corporation will rebrand the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City as the Hyatt Grand Central New York and resume operations of the centrally located property beginning 01-Nov-2021. Located at 109 E. 42nd Street, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the property features 1,298 guestrooms and suites with glittering city views. With demand for travel continuing to increase in New York City, Peter Roth, area vice president & general manager of the property, describes the transition as “a new chapter” in its development. RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone plan to redevelop the property, creating an iconic 2+-million-square-foot mixed-use development, including a new luxury hotel, world-class office and retail space, new public open space and dramatic improvements to the public transportation infrastructure in the Grand Central Terminal transit complex. At this time, the plan is that the hotel would close for such redevelopment no earlier than 2023.

Ascott to open 17 lyf properties by 2025 as demand for co-living apartments rises

The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business, has outlined plans to expand its lyf portfolio to over 3,000 units across 13 cities, including latest openings in Hangzhou and Fukuoka as well as new signings in Bangkok and Paris. lyf is a co-living concept designed for next-generation travellers and Ascott has further launched a ‘lyf: Influencers of Our Time’ campaign to celebrate young trailblazers who are redefining the traditional notion of power and influence through passion and compassion. The lyf portfolio now extends to 17 properties across nine countries with the newly opened lyf Mid-Town Hangzhou, Ascott’s first lyf-branded coliving property in China. It also secured a management contract for its second lyf property in Thailand, lyf Riverside Bangkok. This follows hot on the heels of Ascott’s recent acquisition of its first lyf property in Europe, livelyfhere Gambetta Paris, through its private fund Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF) in Jun-2021. lyf or ‘live your freedom’, is a lodging concept designed for the next-generation travellers. The apartments, social spaces and experiential programmes at lyf properties are designed for guests to forge connections and to nurture a strong sense of community. To date, Ascott has opened four lyf properties in Singapore, Bangkok, Fukuoka and Hangzhou. Three more are slated to open later this year in Singapore, Xi’an and Shanghai – lyf one-north Singapore, as well as lyf Dayanta Xi’an and lyf Hongqiao Shanghai in China. Between 2022 and 2025, 10 more lyf properties are slated to open in Bangkok, Beijing, Cebu, Danang, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore.

New voco hotels debut in New Orleans and Olympia, Washington

IHG Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the further expansion of its voco Hotels brand across the US market with he debut of voco St. James Hotel New Orleans in Louisiana and the voco Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake in Washington state. The addition of these distinctive properties to the voco brand follows the recently announced Dual-Branded Holiday Inn and voco in Chicago’s River North neighbourhood. The voco brand launched in the Americas region last year: it continues to grow rapidly, with more than 50 hotels now open or under development globally. The voco St. James Hotel New Orleans, owned by BM Hotels and managed by NOLA Hotel Group, is located two blocks from the French Quarter in the landmark Banks Arcade. Originally opened in 1833 as a meeting place for local merchants to conduct business and support the neighbourhoods above Canal Street. In 1859, the building was renovated, and the original St. James hotel opened. With many unique floor plans, all rooms are inspired by the spirit of New Orleans. The voco Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake is situated off Highway 101, near downtown Olympia. The lodge-style hotel is managed by A-1 Hospitality Group and was built in 1965. It sits on 10 acres of land overlooking Capitol Lake. The voco brand offers a flexible approach to design concepts. It has become popular for historical buildings where many design elements are combined with updated renovations for a truly unique hotel offering that maintains an independent brand identity.

London’s economy and midscale properties get early 2022 events boost but luxury hotels struggle to secure new business

When booking a hotel room, guests are considering more factors than ever in deciding which property to call home in their destination. One of the many considerations is price, and by extension hotel class, a factor that has taken on an even higher level of importance in the current phase and post-pandemic environment. Taking London as an example, the short-term outlook is positive, according to data from STR, as summer ends and the industry transitions into the typically slower autumn and winter months. Leading bookings in the short-term are Economy class properties, with occupancy as high as 66% over the coming weeks. The lead-up to Christmas is also showing “glimmers of hope,” says STR, with bookings spiking across mid-December. This is likely due to increased confidence in city breaks given the success of the UK’s vaccination programme as well as the destination’s attractive retail offerings, which will be well-received in the lead up to the holidays. For now, however, the picture “lacks promise” entering 2022 across all class types, according to STR. During the second week of Jan-2022, occupancy on the books drops drastically, particularly for Economy and Luxury class hotels. For this period, Upper Upscale and Upscale hotels stand out from the crowd with slightly higher levels of bookings, but with occupancy only peaking at 10% for the week of 10-Jan-2022, “there is not much excitement for any class,” nots STR. The benchmarking specialist recognises events remain a crucial source of bookings for all classes. Large-scale performances are resulting in increased levels of occupancy on the books further into 2022. These favour Economy and Midscale properties, with these classes experiencing several spikes in demand. Meanwhile, with a significant number of high-end travellers not spending given the ongoing complexities of overseas trips, London’s luxury hotels are struggling to acquire business as we move into 2022. A recent STR research insight noted price is the second most considered factor in the booking process currently, which indicates that many individuals are less likely to pay premium rates to stay at high-end establishments.

W Nashville brings a new accommodation stage to Music City

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has confirmed the opening of W Nashville, a new stage for guests to Music City. Nestled in the vibrant and diverse Gulch neighbourhood, the 14-storey, mirrored tower offers unparalleled, voyeuristic views of the hotel’s social spaces. Marriott says the W Nashville was designed from “the outside in,” with six street level entrances that offer unparalleled access to hotel guests and locals alike that means it “isn’t just in the neighbourhood, it is part of it”. The property features 286 rooms and 60 suites – the most of any hotel in Nashville – including two Extreme WOW (Presidential) Suites. It is also home to the Welcome Den, a new W Hotels concept. Accessible only by room key, it is a space where hotel guests can relax, take a work call and enjoy a specially crafted beverage. Every guestroom also features an original, commissioned artwork by Brooklyn-based studio FAILE. The Pop Art-inspired piece celebrates the musical soul of the city.

Taoxichuan Hotel arrives in Hyatt’s Unbound Collection paying homage to Jingdezhen’s heritage of ceramic craftsmanship

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Taoxichuan Hotel, a truly one-of-a-kind addition to The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand. The 196-room hotel has been developed as part of the landmark Taoxichuan cultural and creative quarter in the heart of downtown Jingdezhen, offering a distinctive, sophisticated experience for the many talented artists and guests visiting the “porcelain capitol” of China. A vibrant city in China’s southern Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen is infused with the spirit of innovation and creativity, as residents of the city have been producing fine porcelains spanning many centuries and imperial dynasties. The city’s population is comprised of more than 30,000 artists, one of the highest concentrations of artistic talent in China. Occupying three interconnected buildings and designed by Britain’s acclaimed David Chipperfield Architects, the property houses 196 guestrooms, including seven suites, where guests can enjoy an atmosphere of calm amid a palette of warm colors and earthy textures of wood, leather, canvas and ceramic tiles. Terracotta elements connect guests to the earth and cobalt blue accents, which are also inspired by traditional porcelain designs are found throughout each guestroom.

Wyndham’s new upper midscale all-inclusive resort brand born from promise of ‘all-inclusive travel for all’

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Playa Hotels & Resorts, a leading owner, operator and developer of all-inclusive resorts in popular vacation destination in Mexico and the Caribbean, have announced the launch of a new all-inclusive resort brand, Wyndham Alltra. This marks Wyndham’s 22nd brand and its first dedicated entirely to the fast-growing, all-inclusive segment. The new brand’s name “Alltra” is born from the brand promise of ‘All-Inclusive Travel for All’. It aims to create an all-inclusive resort experience that is distinct to the upper-midscale segment, offering upscale food and beverage, services, amenities and activities with an expressive local flavour at an exceptional value. The brand will feature both family-friendly and adults-only resorts in the Caribbean and other resort destinations. The first two resorts to debut under the Wyndham Alltra brand will be Playa’s 458-room Wyndham Alltra Cancun located in the heart of the Hotel zone, and the 287-room Wyndham Alltra Playa del Carmen in the heart of Playa Del Carmen. Currently undergoing renovations, both resorts remain open and are scheduled to complete renovations and become Wyndham Alltra resorts before the end of the year.

Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • In Berlin, Germany the hotel industry reported its second-best occupancy and highest room rates of the pandemic-era, according to preliminary Sep-2021 data. The absolute ADR level (EUR95.01) was the highest in the city since Mar-2020, while RevPAR (EUR58.20) was the highest since Feb-2020. Occupancy (61.3%) was slightly lower than a domestic-driven 65.4% in Aug-2021 but was still the market’s second highest level since Feb-2020. However, even with the overall improvement, Berlin’s performance still remained well below the pre-pandemic comparable from Sep-2019: occupancy (88.6%), ADR (EUR125.50) and RevPAR (EUR111.22).
  • Hotel performance in Colombia has been closely tied to the pandemic timeline. Most recently in Aug-2021, Colombia’s hotel occupancy reached 48.8%, which was 76.9% of the 2019 comparable and the market’s highest level since Feb-2020. The country’s ADR is even further ahead of the pace, reaching 90.8% of the market’s 2019 comparable in Aug-2021, albeit  down on the Jul-2021 level. While countries continue to ease international restrictions, domestic demand is still the primary driver on Colombia’s road to pre-pandemic levels and this has helped push leisure destinations to reach or even surpass 2019 levels in some periods. STR records that Santa Marta, a popular beach market, saw Aug-2021 occupancy (68.6%) that was 112.8% of the market’s 2019 level. Santa Marta’s 2021 versus 2019 index was even higher in Jul-2021 (140.6%) and Jun-2021 (123.3%). On the other side of the performance spectrum, Bogotá’s hotels continue to struggle due to heavier reliance on business and international demand. The capital’s 35.4% Aug-2021 occupancy was just 59.0% of 2019 levels.
  • The hotel industry in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia reported mixed performance in comparison with recent months, according to preliminary Sep-2021 data. Absolute occupancy (59.0%) fell slightly from August (60.5%), but the ADR level (SAR520.78) was the market’s highest since May-2021 and the RevPAR level (SAR307.46) was the highest since Jun-2021. For context, pre-pandemic comparables from Sep-2019 were 62.1% occupancy, SAR553.14 ADR and SAR343.47 RevPAR.

News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

  • Nestled on the prestigious island of Bay Harbor on the edge of Biscayne Bay, the Altair Hotel is a new arrival to Miami Beach’s luxury hotel offer. Overlooking nearby golf courses and the Intracoastal Waterway, the boutique property features 96 rooms offering a modern coastal beach house aesthetic within bright studio, on-bedroom and two-bedroom corner suites with floor to ceiling glass windows.
  • The Aurelia Antica Suites & Apartments has implemented the BeyondTV GuestCast in-room entertainment solution across the property. The new offer, in central Rome, has been developed to meet the needs of long-term and short-term guests providing the tranquility and privacy of an apartment without sacrificing the superior services and amenities of a 4-star hotel.
  • The former Sheraton Silver Spring has been reflagged as the DoubleTree by Hilton Silver Spring DC North with a warm cookie on arrival – the DoubleTree signature – just part of the changes at the property. Located in the heart of downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, the hotel is just four blocks from the Silver Spring Metrorail station and features 229 guest rooms and suites and over 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
  • Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG) has taken over management of the 174-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta – Roswell. This marks HVMG’s fifth Atlanta hotel announced in the past 60 days, bringing the company’s Atlanta-based portfolio to 12 out of 52 hotels nationwide and its tenth new hotel transaction since Jul-2021. Situated a half mile from Georgia Highway 400 at 1075 Holcomb Bridge Road, the property borders Alpharetta in the North Atlanta suburb of Roswell.
  • French booking engine provider, Hotel Intelligence has partnered with distribution technology supplier RateTiger by eRevMax to provide integrated solutions to accommodations. Through this partnership, hotels will be able to make real-time rate and availability updates and receive bookings generated in their brand website via the Hotel Intelligence booking engine, directly into their property management system, through the RateTiger channel management interface.
  • Hotelbeds has extended its deal with RateGain as part of its continued commitment to controlling rate integrity for its hotel partners in the North America and worldwide. The partnership enables Hotelbeds to help its hotel partners identify cases of opaque rates intended for offline bookings being sold in other channels and supports its strict ‘three strikes’ policy for channels that violate distribution rules.
  • The Marriott Kansas City Overland Park is currently undergoing a USD16 million renovation that is on track for completion in Nov-2021. The reimaging of the property features major updates to all guestrooms, public spaces including the lobby, an expanded fitness centre, relocated and expanded concierge lounge, meeting spaces, and a new restaurant and bar.
  • Desert & Delta Safaris has boosted its luxury lodge portfolio in Botswana by purchasing Nxamaseri Island Lodge, adding to the eight lodges and camps already under its control. Located in the centre of two UNESCO world heritage sites: Tsodilo Hills and the Okavango Delta, nestled along an ancient fossil river that once flowed from the Kavango River, the lodge features eight suites, all under the shade of huge Jackalberry trees and wild date palms.
  • Chase Card Services and Hyatt Hotels Corporation have launched the World of Hyatt business credit card, designed to reward small business owners and Hyatt customers for how they do business. This first business credit card offered by Hyatt features an adaptive rewards accelerator that allows business cardmembers to earn double World of Hyatt points per quarter on categories they spend the most, helping them quickly achieve free nights, elite status, room and suite upgrades and other highly coveted rewards.
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